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Regrets From New-Build Buyers

Published: 31/03/2022

As demand increases for new-builds, new research reveals that there is more to consider than money when buying a new home.

Over 7000 buyers who bought a new build in the last 3 years recently revealed their regrets. Property management, parking and gardens top the list of things they wish they had thought about before buying their home.

According to the findings, the top 10 developers for first-time buyers are Berkeley Homes, Countryside, Davidson Homes, Barratt London, Bellway Homes, Fairview New Homes, St George, Avant Homes, Lovell Homes, and Crest Nicholson.

Also included in the survey was a number of regrets that buyers for new builds had and wish they had asked the question prior to investing. Here are my top five regrets from the survey.

Known about the parking arrangements, such as the on-street parking situation (35%)

This is something to think carefully about upfront to ensure you have the space you need. Don’t assume you’ll be allocated space or that there is nearby parking. There may also be an added annual fee. And if you’re thinking of getting an electric vehicle, find out how charging points will be accommodated.

Looked at the garden – in particular, flooding, drainage and topsoil (19%)

These are both common complaints on new build developments. Before buying, ask your conveyancing solicitor to check your property has Building Regulations sign-off for the drainage system. The ground in the garden of new builds is often compacted by machinery and inevitably has some rubble buried beneath the turf. This does impact quality initially but can be improved by adding nutrients and organic matter.

Checked the terms & conditions more carefully (10%)

If you’re buying a leasehold flat then you should ask your conveyancing solicitor to go through your financial obligations set out in the property’s lease. There are three main types of charges: ground rent, service charges and administration charges.

Reviewed local development plans (6%)

It’s common to buy on a partially completed development, so you’ll want to ask the developer for their programme of works. But there is no guarantee there won’t be delays. You can also check local area plans and planning applications for your area via the local authority website.

Reached out to groups before moving in (2%)

These are extremely helpful and may be on WhatsApp, Facebook, on a resident app, or in-person. You can use these to talk with other residents who’ve moved in before you and find out what to expect.